FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

Posted on June 9, 2013

  • Ambatovy is a deforestation threat to Madagascar
    Wrong. Ambatovy’s total Mine area is 1,600 hectares and it is to be restored gradually. By comparison, the current annual loss of Madagascar’s residual eastern rainforest due to slash-and-burn agriculture, hunting and logging is approximately 14,000 ha.
  • Ambatovy is responsible for bee disappearance in the East
    Wrong. The disappearance of bees is a global problem and not exclusively in Toamasina or in Madagascar. The disappearance of bees comes from a disease called Varroasis which is caused by a parasite called varroa. The disappearance of bees has no link with Ambatovy.
  • Ambatovy is a threat for Madagascar’s outstanding biodiversity
    Wrong. Ambatovy adheres to national and international environmental standards including those outlined by the MECIE decree (Mise En Compatibilité des Investissements avec l’Environnement, a national decree concerning environmental compliance for investment projects in Madagsacar), the International Finance Corporation and the Equator Principles. Ambatovy’s environmental program is also monitored for compliance by regulators from the Government of Madagascar, third parties who conduct periodic assessments for the lending institutions that provided Ambatovy with project financing as well as a Scientific Consultative Committee made up of national and international experts.
  • Ambatovy has not conducted an environmental impact assessment
    Wrong. Before any activity, Ambatovy carried out a long Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) in two stages, which lasted several years: an initial assessment from 1994 to 1996 followed by a thorough assessment from 2003 to 2006. This study was carried out by a firm of international reputation in collaboration with Malagasy scientists.
    The assessment is available with the National Environment Office or click here.
  • Ambatovy primarily relies on its foreign employees
    Wrong. During the construction phase, Ambatovy created more than 18,500 jobs.In the current operation phase, Ambatovy employs more than 9,000 employees, of which 89% are Malagasy. Ambatovy has developed specific training programs and internal promotion initiatives to transfer skills and enable professional development.
  • Ambatovy established a support program for demobilized workers
    True. In line with being a socially responsible company indebted to those who contributed to Construction, Ambatovy developed its Demobilization program to assist former contractors’ employees in their transition to other opportunities after construction. As a part of the program, Ambatovy established Redeployment Centers (BRMO) in Toamasina, Moramanga, and Antananarivo. These centers assisted demobilized Malagasy workers by providing access to new jobs as well as access to specialized training or other income-generating activities through the Ambatovy Local Business Initiative (ALBI). Within the framework of the Demobilization Program, Ambatovy also launched the Assistance Initiative for Demobilized Workers. In recognition of Construction workers’ contributions, Ambatovy provided former demobilized contractors’ employees with an allowance over several months to assist them while they searched for new jobs. The Demobilization Program lasted from September 2011 until July 2013.
  • Ambatovy is a major contributor to economic growth.
    True. At more than $7 billion, Ambatovy’s capital investment will support the country’s economic growth, employment, foreign-exchange earnings, public revenues (through taxes, royalties, duties and other fees), and contribute to direct investments. The infrastructure that remains will provide a basis for more economic growth. The size and success of Ambatovy has the potential to draw other major foreign investors to the country. Public revenue could be in the billions of dollars over Ambatovy’s lifecycle. More than 750 local businesses had contracts with Ambatovy across 40 sectors in 2014. Since 2007, Ambatovy has spent more than US$2.8 on local purchasing. In 2014, local purchases accounted for 50% of our purchasing, totaling around US$400 million. Ambatovy spends an average of US$ 1 million per day locally in supporting its operations.
  • Nickel and cobalt mining does not bring anything to Madagascar
    Wrong. Nickel and cobalt mining will generate, among others, for Madagascar:
  • Direct payments to the State: over the 30 year life of the mine, Ambatovy will pay more than US$4.5 billion in taxes, royalties, and other payments to the Malagasy state. Over the first 10 years, Ambatovy will pay approximately US$50 million per year.
  • Job creation: over 18,500 jobs were created during the construction phase. Approximately 9,000 jobs have been created in the operation phase, including 3,000 direct jobs with Ambatovy and 6,000 with subcontractors.
  • Procurement and contracts for local businesses: Ambatovy is one of the largest consumers of goods and services in Madagascar with more than 750 local businesses as suppliers. In total, Ambatovy has spent about US$2.8 billion in local purchases since 2007.
  • Nickel will become the first export product of Madagascar, that is to say the largest in foreign exchange earnings. It will far surpass traditional export products.
  • Transfer of skills and technology: the presence of Ambatovy will help enhance the skill level of Malagasy workers and firms.